Visit Britain outlines its support for UK events

The chief executive of Visit Britain has outlined the support the organisation offers to help grow international demand for UK events following BVEP meeting.

The BVEP's Michael Hirst
The BVEP's Michael Hirst

The move by Sandie Dawe follows a meeting with representatives of the British Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP) and the Britain for Events campaign.

Visit Britain outlined its commitment to add value to existing activities by national bodies as part of its ‘Golden Strategy’ for 2012-2020, which acknowledges that business tourism remains a significant component of international tourism to the UK. It states that events boost Britain’s image and business travellers are a ready audience for activity, which promotes an extension of their stay in Britain for leisure.

The report also highlighted the potential of the sector to grow the current event attendee expenditure of £36 billion to £48 billion in 2020.

Dawe said: "Visit Britain reduced its support for business tourism following a reduction to budget and subsequent restructure in 2011. Simultaneously other national tourist boards, city convention bureaux, and the sector itself have continued to promote business visits and events with positive results.

"The challenge, therefore, is to build on this strong basis by working with bodies to assist in areas where partnership approaches can add value to the work already being done."

In a paper presented to the BVEP, Visit Britain defines its roles in growing business visits and events, including providing support for major bids, using overseas offices to provide support in-market and profiling incentive travel where opportunities exist as part of a strategy to build the luxury market. It will also continue to press for improvements to the UK visa regime.

Michael Hirst, chairman of the BVEP, said: "We naturally welcome any positive contribution that Visit Britain can make to the UK events industry.

"There is a great deal of excellent work being done at country, region and city level, but the resource of the national tourism organisation for Britain with its strong network of overseas offices and invaluable market insights should add more opportunities to attract more events and attendees to Britain."

The industry and Britain For Events campaign will seek to work with Visit Britain to grow the offering of business extenders programmes and pre- and post- event visits through tie-ups with the Visit Britain online shop. There will also be co-ordination with Visit Britain and UK Trade & Investment on a corporate programme using elements of the GREAT Britain international marketing campaign and Visit Britain’s ‘You’re Invited' campaign to encourage UK businesses to invite their overseas contacts to hold meetings and events in Britain.

 

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